In a move that shocked the world yesterday, the Danish parliament determined that migrants should be granted exactly the same right as Danish citizens. Danes who have assets of less than 10,000 krone (~£1,000) can claim welfare benefit. Many migrants coming to Denmark, even after having paid people traffickers for their journey, have substantial sums in gold, coin and notes. And an estimated 40% of migrants are genuine refugees, according to Denmark's neighbour Germany. Now all must demonstrate, exactly as Danes have to do, that they are genuinely without resources before they can dip in the Danish taxpayer provided trough.
Many migrants were either wealthy and privileged in their own countries, or former soldiers possibly wanted for atrocities by new regimes, or criminals and thugs who extorted, robbed or defrauded their wealth and passage fees. Few are genuinely destitute Syrian refugees, millions of whom linger in refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey. Dentists, chemists and university lecturers migrating to Denmark alongside racketeers and thugs will now have to surrender their wealth or spend it providing their own accommodation and feeding and caring for themselves.
The Guardian is stunned that economic migrants are not being granted preferential treatment. This is the newspaper that rejects austerity and encourages the government to maintain spending at levels far higher than tax income, but which yesterday agreed to make 100 staff redundant and cut running costs by 20% to match falling income. CE David Pemsel told a meeting yesterday that "Growing the cost base more than revenue is simply not sustainable" but it's not known whether he added "Unless we're talking about the national finances, of course".